AFC West Positional Rankings: Tight End

Today, we continue ranking each position in the AFC West; This time with the tight ends. After Travis Kelce, where does everyone else fall on the list? We discuss.
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Today, we continue our AFC West positional rankings with a position that the Chiefs have one of the greatest to ever do it; The tight end position. While it is clear where the Chiefs will fall on this list, the rest of the division is not as clear. With newcomers and players with rising stock, it could be one of the most challenging rankings we have for the series.

Where do the tight ends fall on this list? Without further ado, let's jump in to the AFC West's tight end rankings, starting with one of the greatest to ever play the position.

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Other tight ends: Noah Gray, Jody Fortson, Blake Bell, Matt Bushman, Kendall Blanton, Izaiah Gathings

Let's not complicate this. Whether you are Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, or Chargers fan, you know that Travis Kelce is not only the best at the tight end position in the NFL, he is also one of the greatest to ever play the position. The fact of the matter is, if Kelce can continue on this trajectory of greatness, he could be the greatest tight end to ever play in the NFL.

With a lack of certainty at the wide receiver position, the Chiefs are likely looking to Kelce to dominate yet again this year. That lack of certainty could also lead to more multiple tight end sets that could feature Noah Gray and Jody Fortson along with Kelce. At age 33, the wheels could come off of Kelce at any moment and he could begin to decline, but the Chiefs seem confident that this is not the year for that to happen.

Travis Kelce 2022-2023: 110 receptions, 1,338 yards, 12.2 yards per reception, 12 touchdowns

Travis Kelce 2023-2024 projection: 102 receptions, 1,197 yards, 11.7 yards per reception, 8 touchdowns

Gerald Everett
Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers / Joe Scarnici/GettyImages

2. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers

Other tight ends: Donald Parham Jr., Tre' McKitty, Stone Smartt, Hunter Kampmoyer, Michael Ezeike

The second position on this list was one that was not easy to determine. While the Raiders have intriguing newcomers and the Broncos have a player with rising stock, Gerald Everett has proven himself to be a very capable receiver in their offense. Even though he is not overtly physical, he plays like an oversized wide receiver that makes him a challenge for opposing defense.

With Quentin Johnston joining Mike Williams and Keenan Allen in the wide receiver room, things could open up even more this season for Everett. In the intermediate passing game, Everett could see a lot of targets at the sticks and in the red zone. Although he is not a top-tier tight end, he is talented enough to take the number two spot on our rankings.

Gerald Everett 2022-2023: 58 receptions, 555 yards, 9.6 yards per reception, 4 touchdowns

Gerald Everett 2023-2024 projection: 66 receptions, 689 yards, 10.4 yards per reception, 4 touchdowns

Greg Dulcich
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

3. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos

Other tight ends: Chris Manhertz, Adam Trautman, Albert Okwuegbunam, Nate Adkins, Tommy Hudson

The third spot was the most difficult to determine. We, however, are banking on the potential that we have seen from Greg Dulcich. Despite not beginning the year in the starting role, he quickly carved out a role and became a bright spot in an offense that was void of optimism. He finished the year with 33 receptions after starting in just 6 games.

With Sean Payton's offensive track record with quarterback to tight end success (think Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham), Dulcich could be in store for a really big year. With a more functional offense, Dulcich could see his role go beyond being the third or fourth option. Truly Dulcich could be a real surprise this season.

Greg Dulcich 2022-2023: 33 receptions, 411 yards, 12.5 yards per reception, 2 touchdowns

Greg Dulcich 2023-2024: 59 receptions, 611 yards, 10.3 yards per reception, 3 touchdowns

John Samuel, Austin Hooper
Las Vegas Raiders Training Camp / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

4. Austin Hooper/Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders

Other tight ends: Jesper Horsted, Jacob Hollister, Cole Fotheringham, John Samuel Shenker

It's not clear yet who will be getting the nod at starter between veteran newcomer Austin Hooper and rookie Michael Mayer. It is clear, however that the Raiders have the most to prove at the tight end position. Mayer certainly has a lot of potential and Hooper has been a solid player for several years in the NFL. With that in mind, it seems far-fetched to think that either of them will overtake Dlucich, Everett, or Kelce.

The Raiders have a lot of questions on both sides of the ball, but this might be the position with the tightest position battle. While it seems like Austin Hooper will get the initial nod, it would not be at all surprising to see Michael Mayer take over by year's end.

Austin Hooper 2022-2023: 41 receptions, 444 yards, 10.8 yards per reception, 2 touchdowns

Austin Hooper 2023-2024 projection: 40 receptions, 419 yards, 10.4 yards per reception, 1 touchdown